My pastor doesn’t listen.
February 23, 2012 § 4 Comments
I have the privilege of meeting with my senior pastor every week. He knows my name, gives me eye contact, and cares about my opinion.
No, it is not because I am in trouble.
I am on his preaching team- a small group of lay people from the church he gathers to hear his thoughts for the coming Sunday’s sermon. We go over the passage before bouncing around ideas and suggestions, anecdotes and insights.
And we can tell him when he’s way off, too, which is
I can definitely say that this time has been incredible and I have been thinking a lot more about scripture than I have in a long time.
A couple of weeks back, as we were in the middle of studying the life of Peter, we read through Matthew 17:1-11. Peter interrupts the gathering of and conversation between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah with his great idea to start building tabernacles. In the middle of his excitement and good intention, a voice from the clouds booms down and sends Peter, James, and John face down in the dirt, exclaiming,
“This is My beloved Son.
I take delight in Him.
Listen to Him!”
When they look back up, only Jesus is there, telling them not to be afraid.
After reading it aloud, my pastor leaned back in his chair to commence our time with his thoughts. He began his stream of consciousness with the admission that for him, the passage spoke to his need to listen. He shared that lately he felt that he just needed to be stopped, to quiet his inner dialogue and agenda to hear God. Just…stop.
“Listen to Him!”
I mean, hello. God means business here, cutting of Chatterbox Peter. So I have been thinking more about it, of course. And if my senior pastor can admit it, then I can, too: It’s so very challenging to stop and listen. I know I am not alone in that. To sit still long enough to tune in to God’s voice is nigh impossible for me. But those rare moments that I do- man, is it good. I don’t always hear much, but it doesn’t matter. I always feel closer to the Father. He’s just…there.
I can be as well-intentioned as the next guy (i.e. Peter) and think I know what I need to be doing at the moment when really- I need to just stop. Listen. Quiet. Observe. I don’t know that Peter was really considering the moment happening in front of him while he was busy thinking about what his next move was. And I don’t want to miss something because of what I feel I should be up to. I can make great plans and be well on my way while God would have had me sit awhile and hear what He had to say.
During this Lenten season, Kenny and I have committed to quiet time in the mornings. Yes, I have tried making this a habit before (hasn’t everyone?), but it helps to have a partner in it. If he gets up, I get up, and vice versa. I just needed to stop. Listen.
At last night’s Ash Wednesday service, we repeated this song and I will be repeating it this season:
“In God alone my soul can find rest and peace, in God my peace and joy.
Only in God my soul can find its rest, find its rest and peace.”